Whether you own a restaurant or are simply looking for a high-quality olive oil to adorn your dining table at dinner parties, there are certain things you can do to check that you’re purchasing a delectable, flavoursome, quality olive oil.
There are a number of things you can do to test for this before you commit to purchasing a single bottle. But if that olive oil passes the visual tests, then there are a few things you can look out for upon sampling to determine whether the olive oil you have chosen is up to scratch.
Regardless of whether you’re a restaurant owner looking to provide your customers with traditional bread and extra virgin olive oil starters, or are simply wanting a quality bottle to ensure healthy meals in the home, then these tests will help you to make the best decision when it comes to purchasing a bottle of olive oil that’s right for you.
How to recognise a high-quality olive oil before you buy it
Olive oil is an exceptionally versatile cooking oil, ideal for, not only preparing food, but dressing it, adding flavour to it and even creating sauces to drizzle over it. It also has a number of health benefits associated with it, but only if you choose a quality olive oil.
There’s often an overwhelming choice in supermarkets, farm shops and even restaurants, so it can be difficult to pick one out that’s of superior quality to other, inexpensive cooking oils. Packaging, the label and even the colour have been common indicators to determine whether or not an olive oil is of a high quality or not, but there are several other factors to consider when choosing the right olive oil for you.
Take the time to look for a quality olive oil
If you’re looking for an olive oil of exceptional quality, then extra virgin olive oil is the variety you want. This is because it preserves the organoleptic properties of the olive fruit and this is the only olive oil that does this. This makes extra virgin olive oil the only variety that is able to offer significant health benefits.
Mild and intense olive oils are on offer to buyers, but again, they must be extra virgin olive oils in order to provide you with the best possible quality. If you’re hunting for premium olive oil, then this will come in the form of pure olive juice, so this would be the better option for you if premium olive oil is something you’re on the lookout for over simply extra virgin olive oil.
If the bottle isn’t dark in colour, then steer clear
In order to ensure the best preservation possible, olive oil should be bottled up in dark or completely opaque bottles. If the bottle is transparent, it simply cannot ensure the preservation of the product. This is because it’s exposed to light and oxidation which will eventually cause the quality of the oil to diminish, thus losing its health benefits. If the bottle is opaque but has been stored in direct sunlight, then avoid buying it for the aforementioned reason.
Always read the label
Sometimes, the packaging of olive oil can cause companies to put an expensive price tag on it. Just because the bottle and label is lavish or particularly decorative doesn’t mean that the quality is any higher than olive oil that’s stored in more simple containers. Instead of looking at the label design, read the information that’s displayed on it.
Look at the country of origin; if it isn’t Spain, then don’t buy it. This is because Span is the leader of olive oil production, so prioritise Spanish olive oil over other origins.Something else you should also look for is whether or not the oil has come from the same olive variety. If it comes from several different varieties, then the quality diminishes.
You should also look at the expiration date of the oil. Unlike a fine wine, olive oil does not get better with age. You should check the packaging for a production date and a distant best before date. The younger the olive oil, the better.
This is because its best properties will have been preserved, as long as you store it in the right conditions. Older olive oils are likely to have lost their organoleptic properties due to oxidation and light exposure that’s occurred over a longer period of time.
Make sure it has a reasonable price tag
Just because a bottle of olive oil has an expensive price tag, it doesn’t mean to say that it’s of a higher quality than cheaper varieties. You don’t want to buy a bottle that’s completely inexpensive, but you should opt to choose one that sits between expensive oils and cheaper ones.
Make sure you also read the label and take into account the aforementioned points made in this article. If you’re happy, then pick a bottle of olive oil that’s reasonably-priced but doesn’t break the bank.
How to check the quality of your olive oil when tasting it
Once you’ve chosen an olive oil that you believe is right for you, just by looking at it and reading the associated information, it’s now time to taste test the product. There are a few indicators that will determine the quality of the olive oil just by trying it and they include:
Don’t judge olive oil by its colour
If the oil has been stored in opaque containers, then you won’t be able to see the colour of it in the shop, but this is often a good thing. You won’t be able to determine the colour until it’s poured. When you pour it out in order to taste it for the first time, don’t be put off by the colour as it doesn’t determine the quality of the oil. If you taste-test olive oil professionally, you’ll often be given a blue or opaque glass for this very reason.
Does the olive oil have a distinct, balanced flavour on the palate?
Quality olive oil should have a distinct taste and a balanced flavour all round. You might also find that it’s slightly bitter and contains fruity notes in many cases. It’s also common for a high-quality olive oil to leave a spicy touch in the throat. Depending on the type of olive oil you’ve chosen, these attributes might differ.
Cater Oils is a dedicated, family-run business providing waste oil collection services and cooking oil services to customers throughout the UK. We take pride in supplying restaurants, golf clubs, hotels, hospitals, nursing homes and food outlets with fresh, quality cooking oil that can be used for a variety of means. We also collect waste cooking oil from companies, ensuring it’s recycled and turned into biodiesel for environmental benefits. If you’d like more information about how we can help you today, get in touch with a member of our team – we’re always happy to hear from you.